When you’re married and have children, insurance needs will be different.

A growing family, by definition, means growing financial obligations—both present and in the future. Raising children can increase your insurance needs and heightens the urgency for being properly prepared.

Auto

When a child becomes a new driver, one choice is to add the teenager to the parents’ policy. You may want to discuss with your auto insurer ways to reduce the additional premium that accompanies a new driver.

Home

You should periodically review your homeowners policy for three primary reasons.

A growing family generally accumulates increasing amounts of personal belongings. Think of each child’s toys, clothes, electronic equipment, etc. Moreover, household income tends to rise during this time, which means that jewelry, art, and other valuables may be among your growing personal assets.

The second reason is that the costs of rebuilding—and debris removal—may have risen over time, necessitating an increase in insurance coverage.

Lastly, with growing wealth, you may want to raise liability coverage, or if you do not have an umbrella policy, consider adding it now. Umbrella insurance is designed to help protect against the financial risk of personal liability.

Health

With your first child, be sure to change your health care coverage to a family plan. If you and your spouse have retained separate plans, you may want to evaluate which plan has a better cost-benefit profile. Think about whether now is the appropriate time to consolidate coverage into one plan.

Disability

If your family is likely to suffer economically because of the loss of one spouse’s income, then disability insurance serves an important role in replacing income that may allow you to meet living expenses without depleting savings.

The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation.

If you already have disability insurance, consider increasing the income replacement benefit since your income and standard of living may now be higher than when you bought the policy.

Life

With children, the amount of future financial obligations increases. The cost of raising children and funding their college education can be expensive. Should one of the spouses die, the loss of income might severely limit the future quality of life for your surviving children and spouse. Not only does death eliminate the future income of one spouse permanently, but the future earning power of the surviving spouse might be diminished as single parenthood may necessitate fewer working hours and turning down promotions.

The amount of life insurance coverage needed to fund this potential financial loss is predicated on, among other factors, lifestyle, debts, age and number of children, and anticipated future college expenses.

Several factors will affect the cost and availability of life insurance, including age, health, and the type and amount of insurance purchased. Life insurance policies have expenses, including mortality and other charges. If a policy is surrendered prematurely, the policyholder also may pay surrender charges and have income tax implications. You should consider determining whether you are insurable before implementing a strategy involving life insurance. Any guarantees associated with a policy are dependent on the ability of the issuing insurance company to continue making claim payments.

Some couples decide to have one parent stay at home to care for the children full time. The economic value of the stay-at-home parent is frequently overlooked. Should the stay-at-home parent die, the surviving parent would likely need to pay for a range of household and child-care services and potentially suffer the loss of future income due to the demands of single parenthood.

Extended Care

The earlier you consider extended-care choices the better. However, the financial demands of more immediate priorities, like saving for your children’s college education or your retirement, will take precedence if resources are limited.

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG, LLC, is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright FMG Suite.

You can plan ahead to protect yourself and your family against the financial consequences of deteriorating health.

As Teddy Roosevelt once observed, “Old age is like everything else. To make a success of it, you’ve got to start young.”

The challenges seniors have met throughout their lives have made them wiser and stronger, preparing them for the unique challenges that come with aging.

As we age, the potential for cognitive decline increases, ranging from simple forgetfulness to dementia. Long-term illness can sap time and energy from tending to your financial affairs in retirement. Even a decline in vision may make it harder to manage your financial affairs.

Fortunately, you can look ahead to help protect yourself and your family against the financial consequences of deteriorating health, and in many cases, insurance may play an important role.

Let’s examine some of the ways you can employ insurance to help protect your financial health.

Healthcare Costs

For some, healthcare costs represent a larger share of their budget as the years pass.

Recognizing this, you may want to consider Medigap insurance to cover the expenses that Medicare does not, which can add up quickly. You also might want to consider some form of extended-care insurance, which can be structured to pay for nursing home and home healthcare services—two services that Medicare doesn’t cover.

Managing Your Wealth

The involvement you have with managing your investments may change as you age. For many seniors, that sort of day-to-day responsibility is unattractive and even untenable.

If that’s the case, you may wish to consider what role annuities can play. Annuities can be structured to pay you income for as long as you live, relieving you of the concern of outliving your retirement money. Certain annuities even offer extended-care benefits, which allow you to address two concerns with one decision.1

Transferring Your Estate

If you’re like many seniors, you have a strong desire to leave something to your children, grandchildren, and perhaps a favorite charity. Through the use of life insurance, you can pursue these objectives. For example, life insurance can be used to create an estate or to equalize an estate transfer among your heirs.2

Insurance will never be able to prevent the health issues that come inexorably with age, but it can be used to mitigate their potential financial consequences.

1. The guarantees of an annuity contract depend on the issuing company’s claims-paying ability. Annuities have contract limitations, fees, and charges, including account and administrative fees, underlying investment management fees, mortality and expense fees, and charges for optional benefits. Most annuities have surrender fees that are usually highest if you take out the money in the initial years of the annuity contact. Withdrawals and income payments are taxed as ordinary income. If a withdrawal is made prior to age 59½, a 10% federal income tax penalty may apply (unless an exception applies).
2. Several factors will affect the cost and availability of life insurance, including age, health, and the type and amount of insurance purchased. Life insurance policies have expenses, including mortality and other charges. If a policy is surrendered prematurely, the policyholder also may pay surrender charges and have income tax implications. You should consider determining whether you are insurable before implementing a strategy involving life insurance.
The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright FMG Suite.

Overview of Medicare Advantage, what’s in them, special rules, and more.

Medicare Advantage, sometimes known as “Part C,” is something of a catch-all choice for those who are ready to sign up for Medicare. Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurers in conjunction with the Medicare program, and can provide you with additional health insurance coverage.

What’s in them?

In addition to signing up for Medicare Part A (hospital stays) and Part B (medical coverage), Medicare Advantage plans offer their subscribers extra features. This frequently, but not always, includes the Medicare Part D prescription drug plan.1

In some cases, Medicare Advantage plans offer coverage for areas not normally offered within regular Medicare plans. This can include dental, hearing, and vision insurance.1

What are the rules?

Medicare pays for a fixed amount of your health care to the company offering your Medicare Advantage (MA) plan. Beyond that, each MA plan requires different out-of-pocket fees. Those fees can vary from plan to plan.1

Depending on your plan, you may have different rules you need to follow when seeking a medical referral to get treatment from a specialist or if you are seeking non-urgent care (even from health care providers within the plan).

It’s also important to remember that rules, requirements, and features may change from year to year. It will be important to make sure that those changes line up with any treatment that you need.

What about my prescriptions?

While most MA plans offer Part D coverage for prescription drugs, some don’t. One example would be for Medicare Medical Savings Account plans. In cases where the plan can’t or chooses not to offer prescription drug coverage, you may have the ability to join a separate Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, depending on the type of plan you enroll in.1

You will likely have a number of questions and concerns as you examine your options for Medicare Advantage plans. Discuss these with a trusted financial professional who can help you make choices that may best fit your lifestyle.

1. Medicare.gov, 2022
The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright FMG Suite.

(Updated 2024)

Without a solid approach, health care expenses may add up quickly and potentially alter your spending.

In a 2022 survey, 35% of all workers reported they were either “not too” or “not at all” confident that they would have enough money to pay for their medical expenses in retirement. Regardless of your confidence, however, being aware of potential healthcare costs during retirement may allow you to understand what you can pay for and what you can’t.1

Health-Care Breakdown

In a 2023 survey, 37% of all workers reported they were either “not too” or “not at all” confident that they would have enough money to pay for their medical expenses in retirement. Regardless of your confidence, however, being aware of potential healthcare costs during retirement may allow you to understand what you can pay for and what you can’t.1

A retired household faces three types of healthcare expenses.

  1. The premiums for Medicare Part B (which covers physician and outpatient services) and Part D (which covers drug-related expenses). Typically, Part B and Part D are taken out of a person’s Social Security check before it is mailed, so the premium cost is often overlooked by retirement-minded individuals.
  2. Copayments related to Medicare-covered services that are not paid by Medicare Supplement Insurance plans (also known as “Medigap”) or other health insurance.
  3. Costs associated with dental care, eyeglasses, and hearing aids – which are typically not covered by Medicare or other insurance programs.

It All Adds Up

According to one study, the average 65-year-old couple can expect to need $315,000 saved to cover healthcare expenses in retirement.2

Should you expect to pay this amount? Possibly. Seeing the results of one study may help you make some critical decisions when creating a strategy for retirement. Without a solid approach, healthcare expenses may add up quickly and alter your retirement spending.

Prepared for the Future?

Workers were asked how much they have saved and invested for retirement – excluding their residence and defined benefit plans.

Source: EBRI.org, 2023
  1. EBRI.org, 2023
  2. Investopedia.com, October 23, 2023
The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright FMG Suite.

As our nation ages, many Americans are turning their attention to caring for aging parents.

Thanks to healthier lifestyles and advances in modern medicine, the worldwide population over age 65 is growing. In the past decade, the population of Americans aged 65 and older has grown 38% and is expected to reach 94.7 million in 2060. As our nation ages, many Americans are turning their attention to caring for aging parents.1

For many people, one of the most difficult conversations to have involves talking with an aging parent about extended medical care. The shifting of roles can be challenging, and emotions often prevent important information from being exchanged and critical decisions from being made.

When talking to a parent about future care, it’s best to have a strategy for structuring the conversation. Here are some key concepts to consider.

Cover the Basics

Knowing ahead of time what information you need to find out may help keep the conversation on track. Here is a checklist that can be a good starting point:

  • Primary physician
  • Specialists
  • Medications and supplements
  • Allergies to medication

It is also important to know the location of medical and estate management paperwork, including:2

  • Medicare card
  • Insurance information
  • Durable power of attorney for healthcare
  • Will, living will, trusts, and other documents

Be Thorough

Remember that if you can collect all the critical information, you may be able to save your family time and avoid future emotional discussions. While checklists and scripts may help prepare you, remember that this conversation could signal a major change in your parent’s life. The transition from provider to dependent can be difficult for any parent and has the potential to unearth old issues. Be prepared for emotions and the unexpected. Be kind, but do your best to get all the information you need.

Keep the Lines of Communication Open

This conversation is probably not the only one you will have with your parent about their future healthcare needs. It may be the beginning of an ongoing dialogue. Consider involving other siblings in the discussions. Often one sibling takes a lead role when caring for parents, but all family members should be honest about their feelings, situations, and needs.

Don’t Procrastinate

The earlier you begin to communicate about important issues, the more likely you will be to have all the information you need when a crisis arises. How will you know when a parent needs your help? Look for indicators like fluctuations in weight, failure to take medication, new health concerns, and diminished social interaction. These can all be warning signs that additional care may soon become necessary. Don’t avoid the topic of care just because you are uncomfortable. Chances are that waiting will only make you more so.

Remember, whatever your relationship with your parent has been, this new phase of life will present challenges for both parties. By treating your parent with love and respect—and taking the necessary steps toward open communication—you will be able to provide the help needed during this new phase of life.

1. ACL.gov, November 2022
2. Note: Power of attorney laws can vary from state to state. An estate strategy that includes trusts may involve a complex web of tax rules and regulations. Consider working with a knowledgeable estate management professional before implementing such strategies.
The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG, LLC, is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright FMG Suite.

Learn about all the parts of Medicare with this informative and enjoyable article.

Breaking Down The Basics

Whether your 65th birthday is on the horizon or decades away, understanding the different parts of Medicare is critical, as this government-sponsored program may play a role in your future health care decisions.

Parts A & B: Original Medicare. There are two components. In general, Part A covers inpatient hospital care, skilled nursing facility costs, hospice, lab tests, surgery, and some home health care services. One thing to keep in mind is that, while very few beneficiaries must pay Part A premiums out of pocket, annually adjusted standard deductibles still apply.1,2

Many pre-retirees are frequently warned that Medicare will only cover a maximum of 100 days of nursing home care (provided certain conditions are met). Part A is the one with these provisions. Under the current Part A rules, you would pay $0 for days 1-20 of care in a skilled nursing facility (SNF). During days 21-100, a $204 daily coinsurance payment may be required of you.1,2

Knowing the limitations of Part A, some people look for other choices when it comes to managing the costs of extended care.

Part B covers physicians’ fees, outpatient hospital care, certain home health services, durable medical equipment, and other offerings not covered by Medicare Part A.2

Part B does come with some costs, however, which are adjusted annually. The premiums vary, according to the Medicare recipient’s income level, but the standard monthly premium amount is $174.70, and the yearly deductible is $240 for 2024.2

Part C: Medicare Advantage plans. Sometimes called “Medicare Part C,” Medicare Advantage (MA) plans are often viewed as an all-in-one alternative to Original Medicare. MA plans are offered by private companies approved by the federal government. Although these plans come with standardized minimum coverage, the amount of additional protection offered can differ drastically from one person to the next. This is due to unique provider networks, premiums, copays, coinsurance, and out-of-pocket spending limits. In other words, comparing prices and services offered by different vendors may be the best way to find a Medicare Advantage plan that works for you.3

Part D: Prescription drug plans. While Medicare Advantage plans often offer prescription drug coverage, insurers also sell federally standardized Medicare Part D plans as a standalone product to those with Medicare Part A and/or Part B. Every Part D plan has its own list (i.e., a “formulary”) of covered medications. Visit Medicare.gov to explore the formulary of approved drugs for your Part D plan as well as their prices, organized by tier.4

In fact, Medicare.gov is a great place to start all your research. Once there, you’ll find answers to your most common questions and more information on the different Medicare plans offered in your area.

1. CMS.gov, 2023
2. Medicare.gov, 2023
3. Medicare.gov, 2023
4. Medicare.gov, 2023
The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG, LLC, is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright FMG Suite.
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